Croatia are ready to challenge “terrifying favourites” Brazil in the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Friday, coach Zlatko Dalic has said.
Dalic’s side went three extra times in the 2018 World Cup Round of 16 before 4-2 defeat against France In the final.
Croatia beat japan in the round of 16 on Monday on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time.
“Brazil are the favourites, let’s face it,” Dalic said.
“Brazil are the strongest and best national team in the World Cup. What I’ve seen so far, when you look at their player selection, quality, skill and value, it’s is truly terrifying.
“I think we have a great review ahead of us, a tough task against the team playing great football with so many fast and good quality players.”
Dalic added that Croatia, ranked 12th in the world, winning the knockout tie would not come as a huge surprise.
“I think we have nothing to worry about,” Dalic said. “We have to go into the game with a lot of faith, confidence and look for our chances, take the opportunity to play against Brazil, that’s all. [It’s] too soon, if only it was the final.
“They’re a great team, but I believe we can challenge them, we have to be smart… The game is not 50-50, but we’re not underdogs either.”
Croatia would face Argentina or the Netherlands in the semi-finals if they beat Brazil.